Photo by DJ Craig
Payson, Arizona sits in the “Heart of Arizona” in northern Gila County. The area is often referred to as the Rim Country. Payson sits in the shadow of the Mogollon Rim, an extensive plateau at an elevation of 7300 feet, covered in Ponderosa pine forests and pristine mountain lakes. The city is a 90-minute drive from Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Prescott.
Payson was founded in 1882 and incorporated in 1973. Payson is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest with 97 percent of the city surrounded by lands under the jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service. Payson is bordered on one side by the Tonto Apache Indian Reservation. Payson’s full-time population is 15,476. The city can swell to approximately 30,000 in the summer months as people escape the Valley heat.
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